Tag Archives: thanksgiving

Lowbush Cranberry Tart

The holidays are nigh and it’s time to get creative in the kitchen! Last year for Thanksgiving I served a cranberry curd tart offered up by The New York Times. It was tangy and sweet but the recipe was burdensome, from the peeling of the hazelnuts to pressing the cranberries through a sieve. I thought I’d do my own version for this year’s Thanksgiving table using my own handpicked lowbush cranberries.

Cranberry Tart by Alaska Knit Nat

I opted for a vanilla wafer crust and made a couple of other changes. You can of course use store-bought cranberries and this recipe would turn out just as vividly red and delicious. This is a great alternative to the often-overlooked cranberry sauce.

Harvesting Anchorage: Lowbush Cranberry Marmalade | This is a delicious cranberry orange jam recipe that's perfect for Christmas and holiday gifts for teachers, friends and family. Recipe from Alaskaknitnat.com

Cranberry Tart

Inspired by The New York Times recipe

Cranberry Tart by Alaska Knit Nat

Ingredients for the crust:

  • 60 vanilla wafers
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted butter

Ingredients for the curd:

  • 12 oz. lowbush cranberries (store bought is fine)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 orange
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2 eggs plus 2 egg yolks

Directions for the crust:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place wafers in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Place in a bowl with sugar and melted butter and stir till combined. Press the crumbs into a pie pan and set aside.

Directions for the curd:

Peel the orange with a vegetable peeler and juice the orange. It should be about 1/2 cup of juice. Place juice, peels, cranberries and sugar into a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and let cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until berries are popped and softened. Press the berries with the back of a wooden spoon now and then.

Remove the peels and place the mixture into a blender. Blend until smooth. You should have about 2 cups. Pour back into the saucepan with the butter and stir until butter is melted.

Whisk the eggs in a small bowl. Add 1/2 cup or so of cranberry mixture to the eggs to temper them, then mix the eggs back into the saucepan.

Heat over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until mixture is thickened and nearly bubbling, about 10 minutes. Let mixture cool completely. You can place the curd in the fridge overnight, if you’d like.

Spread the cooled cranberry curd into the pie pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes. Let cool.

Cranberry Tart by Alaska Knit Nat

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Creamed Corn Casserole – A free recipe

It was the evening before Thanksgiving and I was describing the holiday to my son while driving home from preschool. Jack asked if there would be corn at our dinner.

Our family isn’t a corn family. Occasionally when Costco is selling an eight-pack in the summertime my folks will boil it and serve it on the cob. Creamed corn is definitely not a typical dish on our table.

I looked at several recipes online for creamed corn and most called for either canned corn (gross), or fresh corn. Many recipes listed cream cheese, which I didn’t have. I wasn’t about to brave the grocery store on Thanksgiving eve so I took to my freezer and invented my own creamed corn recipe. I think it’s a hybrid of creamed corn and corn casserole. It’s a little thicker than creamed corn because of the egg, but not as custardy as casserole.

Also, my son had fun helping me make it. I put crackers in a ziploc bag and let him stomp to his heart’s content.

Creamed corn casserole is a simple side dish and is perfect for any holiday table. Bacon grease is the base flavor for this tasty, creamy corn dish.
su-lin via Compfight cc
Ingredients;

  • 2 slices of bacon
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons flour
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • milk
  • 24 oz. frozen corn
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 sleeve Ritz crackers, stomped on by a child (food processor works too)

Creamed corn casserole is a simple side dish and is perfect for any holiday table. Bacon grease is the base flavor for this tasty, creamy corn dish.
Stock photo of corn. USDAgov via Compfight cc
Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Fry up the bacon in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Set aside to munch on later and reserve the bacon grease. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and sauté the onions until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add flour and stir frequently for about two minutes. Turn heat down to medium. Add cream and stir until thickened. Add milk if mixture is too thick. You want it the consistency of cream sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.

In a large mixing bowl combine the corn, béchamel sauce and egg until the corn is well coated. Place in a casserole dish.

Wipe the sauté pan clean with a paper towel and melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add the Ritz cracker crumbs and stir frequently for one minute.

Sprinkle  casserole with the cracker crumbs and bake uncovered for 40 minutes or until top is lightly browned.

Creamed corn casserole is a simple side dish and is perfect for any holiday table. Bacon grease is the base flavor for this tasty, creamy corn dish.
More stock corn because we ate ours too fast to photograph. Rich Renomeron via Compfight cc

Our Thanksgiving Plans — A step-by-step guide to avoiding a festive failure

About nine years ago I had the honor of roasting the turkey for my family’s Thanksgiving dinner. Until that dinner my father was always the main chef during this holiday meal, but that year I had learned a turkey tip from a friend that I really wanted to try, so I took the responsibility from him. I remember his taking a bite of my slaved-over bird and formally announcing he was passing the turkey scepter on to me; he could not make a better turkey.

This was, of course, before Alton Brown made famous the technique of brining a turkey. Now my father claims it’s the only decent way to prepare a Thanksgiving feast. I tried brining once, but it was too much effort for me. I don’t even like turkey!

So this year my parents are arriving home from Mexico on Thanksgiving Day. What with their being old and tired (no offense mom and dad!) I don’t want them to have to cook anything, so I’m taking on the entire meal, fixings and all. I’m even going to try to decorate — but we’ll see how it goes.

I thought I would share my plans for next week in case you are feeling completely uninspired (which I am currently feeling).

Turkey Day -- A step-by-step guide to avoid festive failure | Alaska Knit Nat

Continue reading Our Thanksgiving Plans — A step-by-step guide to avoiding a festive failure

Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing

My sister just cleared out her garden and gave me a gallon bag of fresh sage. In my pursuit to use some of it before drying it I found a great recipe on Foodnetwork.com for Stuffed Pork Chops.

I decided I didn’t feel much like pork chops for dinner, but that cornbread stuffing sounded pretty good. Plus, I have three gallons of cranberries I need to figure out how to use.

I picked up a Costco rotisserie chicken, made some glazed carrots and I had a mini-Thanksgiving in no time at all.

Cranberry Cornbread Stuffing | Alaska Knit Nat

I reheated the chicken in the oven 20 minutes before taking out the stuffing (or dressing in this case) and it made enough juice for some tasty gravy.

Ingredients:
2.5 cups crumbled cornbread
2 slices of bacon, chopped
1 Tbs. butter
2 celery ribs, chopped fine
1/2 onion, chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 Tbs. chopped parsley
1 Tbs. chopped sage
1 Tbs. chopped rosemary
1/4 cup dried or fresh cranberries
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a heavy skillet, start browning the bacon. Add the celery, onion, garlic and mushrooms and cook till bacon is fully cooked, about 10 minutes. Add the parsley, sage, rosemary (sorry, no thyme) and cook another couple of minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

In a bowl, toss together the cornbread, cranberries and raisins. Add the rest of the ingredients including the chicken stock and gently toss to combine.

Transfer to a casserole dish and top with little bits of butter.

Cover and bake for 50 minutes.